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Treasury allows liquor industry to pay excise duties of R5.1bn after 90 days


The liquor industry has welcomed treasury’s decision to grant them an extension while waiting for the alcohol ban to be lifted again.

File image. Picture:Tracey Adams/African News Agency(ANA)

THE LIQUOR industry has welcomed the National Treasury’s decision to grant them permission to pay excise tax due on alcoholic beverages of R5.1 billion after 90 days while waiting for the government to lift the ban on the sale of alcohol.

The alcohol industry spokesperson, Sibani Mngadi, said the sector had last month applied for the deferment of R5.1bn in excise tax due to the South African Revenue Service (Sars) until the ban in sales is lifted.

The Treasury has proposed a 90-day deferral for the payment of excise taxes on alcohol between August and September, 2020.

The deferrals will be effected through the Customs and Excise Act Rules to be published by Sars.

“With the reintroduction of the ban on all alcohol sales with immediate effect from July 12, the industry and its entire value chain faced a crippling financial crisis,” Mngadi said.

“The sustainability of the sector, now and in the post-Covid-19 era, was dependent on this deferment if further job losses are to be avoided.”

Mngadi said this was money that was vital to the country’s economic future and that the focus should be on reviving the sector as quickly as possible.

He said that the industry had called for a more targeted approach in dealing with the problem of alcohol misuse.

“The fact that the South African Medical Research Council is also calling for a lifting of the blanket ban on alcohol sales confirms our belief that there are better and more sustainable alternatives to the ban.”

He reiterated their commitment to partner with the government to create a social compact that drives behavioural change regarding the use and consumption of alcohol.

“The industry shared the government’s concerns regarding the Covid-19 pandemic and would continue to support efforts to curb this unprecedented health emergency,” Mangadi said.